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How To Avoid Government Grant Scams

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What Is A Grant?

Government grants are tax-funded money and are often awarded to non-profits or businesses. The amount of funding and the types of grants are determined by legislation. There are three major phases of federal grant funding. The pre-award phase occurs when the government announces an opportunity to receive federal grant funding. Then, the funding agency evaluates applications. Once the government approves applications, it starts the post-award phase, which is essentially the review phase. A grant can be awarded to a state agency, nonprofit organization, or other entity to carry out part of a federal program. In general, a grant recipient must meet program criteria and conditions in order to be considered a qualified applicant.

Scamming

Scammers entice unsuspecting individuals to pay up-front fees to obtain a government grant. In exchange for grant money, they ask applicants to wire money, provide personal information, or provide their Social Security number. The most common way that scammers scout for potential victims is via social media. According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2019 Scam Tracker Risk Report, a third of all online government grant scams occur through social media.

Take Care Before Applying

Before applying for a government grant, you should gather all the required materials and determine your eligibility. Read the requirements of the program and understand what you want to achieve with the funds. In some cases, you might be required to meet with the funding source in order to discuss details of your project. Then, submit your application to the appropriate agency. Afterward, follow the grantor’s website to stay informed of current grants. There are many ways to find information about government grants, so take your time and make sure that you have all the necessary materials before applying.